Your Days of Wearing and Returning Clothes Might Be Over

wardrobingWhether or not you’re guilty of it, you can likely vouch for the popularity of the buying-wearing-then-returning approach to shopping. While this isn’t exactly a new phenomenon, it’s gained traction as a result of the uptick of fast fashion and doesn’t shown any signs of stopping — until now, that is.

BoF reports that Bloomingdale’s, one of the largest department stores effected by what the National Retail Federation estimates as $8.8 billion loss, is taking precaution against potential wardrobing. Wardrobers, as they’ve come to be officially be known to the NRF, are in the business of returning used, non-defective merchandise.

Bloomie’s plan of attack involves the use of three-inch black plastic devices that will remain on some of their garments, even after they’re sold. They are tactfully placed on the front bottom hemline, so there will no, ahem, tucking neath one’s neck. As you might have guessed, once a customer removes the tag (which cannot be reattached), the item can’t be returned.

For those whose weekend outfit plans we’ve just shattered, you’re in luck as some retailers, such as Nordstroms, aren’t willing to risk their shoppers’ mistrust. Still, according to a November 2012 survey, wardrobing is a growing trend with about 65 percent of retailers experiencing the problem, up from 61 percent the year before.

We’re not judging you wardrobers out there, after all, we are young twenty-somethings in New York City. But, you might want to think twice before your next wardrobing outing as stores crack down on the age-old practice. If that isn’t convincing enough, Dame Vivienne Westwood has 4 sacred secrets to smart shopping. Spoiler Alert: Wardrobing is not one of them. Oh, and neither is showrooming.

[Business of Fashion]

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The 4 Secrets to Smart Shopping
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